Dutch menswear company SuitSupply says it has lost 10,000 of its Instagram followers since the launch of their latest ad campaign.
Turns out, after wading into all manner of exotic, artistic, and taboo visuals over the years—the thing that is still just too much for some folks (disturbing the delicate balance of their heteronormative experience)—is the reflection of gay lives.
(*Granted these are super-fabulously-lush-aesthetically-delicious gay lives turnt up to 11 but still...)
Fashion has always been married to beauty and art. Fashion advertising works in tandem, with a rich tradition of idealized fantasy. Creating worlds in which designers' artistic visions and wildest imaginations can run free amid the shiny ad-slicked pages of your favorite fashion magazine.
So why is this campaign any different?
When done well, shocking design elements become somehow more everyday wearable in the hands of these celestial curators of style, blending haute couture seamlessly into their luxe stylized worlds, and sparking some of our greatest fantasies...for our closets.
And there's no denying the appeal of a well-cut suit, a finely chiseled jaw, and a stunning location. How could it NOT be sexy?
NRC Handelsblad, a Dutch newspaper who recently interviewed founder and CEO of Suit Supply, Fokke De Jong reported that when De Jong was asked if the suit brand had chosen the elements of this campaign to create controversial reactions, De Jong sidestepped the question, responding instead that:
In fashion advertising it is often a matter of attraction between people, but not often about the attraction between men. We were pleased to do that now.
When NRC pushed further saying, "it would be a great attempt to draw attention to gay emancipation around the world." De Jong said:
The fact that there is a debate about it makes it relevant. Our sales will not go up for the time being, if the reactions are any indication.
The company launched a steamy video campaign as well:
While Suit Supply is no stranger to running controversial campaigns and bigots no doubt abound, there were plenty of fans of the new campaign as well:
Whatever. They’re on the right side of history. The models look cute af. Who need bigots????— Rebecca Gladstone (@rebeccaglad) March 3, 2018
As a straight man, I do not understand why so many men are offended. There are so many brands that put out more culturally, morally, and racially offense marketing campaigns that you should be talking about. I’ve always been a fan of @suitsupply and will continue to be. https://t.co/6stubtRQ9R— Sergio Villasenor (@sir_gee_ohhhhh) February 28, 2018
For those who wonder aloud, "How do I explain this to my kids," Kaylara's got your answer:
Know how I explain it to my Dutch born kids? "Some boys like boys." This is not difficult.— Kaylara's Bringing You Cold Cases (@KaylaraOwl) March 6, 2018